"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Friday, September 26, 2008

60 is a magic number

In the Senate, at least, 60 is the number needed for a filibuster-proof majority in the upper house. Could the Democrats do it? Could they get a filibuster-proof Senate in 2009? Anyone remember when the last filibuster-proof majority was? Even Google doesn't know.

Polling currently shows a 57/43 split in the Senate. If the dems can flip 3 more (along with an Obama/Biden victory) they would be able to run their agenda without opposition. Charlie Cook at The National Journal writes:

It seems farfetched that Republicans would lose Stevens, Sununu, Dole, Coleman, Smith, and Wicker, in addition to relinquishing the even more endangered open seats in Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado, but a net loss of nine seats -- or eight if they topple Landrieu and keep Collins and McConnell in office -- is no longer implausible. In 2006, the odds against a six-seat Republican loss were equally strong, but it happened.

History shows, moreover, that close Senate races tend to break in the same direction, as they did two years ago.

The bottom line is that things have gotten worse for Senate Republicans over the past few weeks, so much worse that a magnitude of losses that seemed impossible just a few months ago now seems entirely possible.

It might, just might, prompt the needed soul-searching at the GOP to flush the wingnuts and intolerant bigots from their midst and reconstitute a party based on sane, rational approaches to government. But I'm not going to bet on either one: a filibuster-proof majority or a less insane Republican party.

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